I have been worshipping as a guest at Life Changers Christian Center in Lansing, MI the past two weeks. I was already drawn to this church because 80% of the congregation of the church are young people.
I have two spiritual friends that go here. Both are filled with the Holy Spirit. So when they ask me to show up I show up with no questions.
However, back here in Detroit, Black grasroots are always talk about "nation building". I have heard them talking about this during the Afrika Town conference at Cobo Hall last August. I hear it all the time during Kwanzaa. I hear it all the time on Black grassroots stations like WHPR FM 88.1.
I hear Call Em Out and Keep The Vote talk about nation building. Some of the Black Nationalist churches and churches who teach black liberation theology talk about nation building.
They always talk about "pulling our resources" and constantly telling you that black people are oppressed and struggling. They remind you that this is our destiny.
THIS church (Life Changers) have a congregation makeup of 95% black people. Beautiful BLACK sisters and brothers. Wonderful couples. Great energy within the church.
Life Changers are in the process of building a community center for the young people next to the church. Not to mention they are in the process of renovating a school for next year.
True nation building.
How are they suppose to do these things?
Pull their resources.
Real nation building.
Today was Easter Sunday at Life Changers. There was a special pledge going on during the church. The pastor, Dr. James Pierce, started the pledge with a donation of $24,000.
Did I stumble on my words? $24,000 people. That's more than someone's yearly salary.
One young couple donated $22,000.
YOUNG BLACK PROFESSIONAL people in a congregation of 3,000 people donating this kind of money.
I cannot count how many couples donated $1,000 or more.
I almost passed out in church watching this before my eyes. I have never seen it done on this level. I was in total disbelief and mentally paralyzed.
There was a young brother sitting next to me. His parents dropped $5,000 on the spot. He ran down and hugged his parents.
The youth ministry brothers and sisters even pitched in anywhere from $25-$100 dollars a pop.
When the smoke cleared they raised $500,000 in less than an hour. Around 45 minutes.
I have never, ever seen black nationalists do this before. I have never even seen traditional churches with young people do this before.
To be honest, I never seen black people pledge and pull their money together like this in a church setting just under 3000 people. It was awesome.
When you have young adults who look like you, full of spirit, full of joy and are pulling their resources together things happen. They did not go to the mic and say things like, " I can't pledge this week because we are oppressed, we struggling, or the white man is holding me and my family down".
There was no talk of socialism. Just the Holy Spirit. It felt good. No black nationalist opression talk. Just getting the job done.
I saw communalism, praise and worship and nation building today. It's good to see a congregation come together for a common purpose. Our youth.
Black grassroots can take a page from Life Changers. If you are really about life changing and nation building then you have to walk the walk and not blame "your oppressors" for your inability to change lives in your community.